Derek Cribb reports on the Quality Assurance Scheme, which will boost confidence in the industry
Let's be honest: public faith in the financial services industry is low. But trust in the work of actuaries is crucial to the profession and its clients; so how can the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) help to ensure that actuaries continue to be viewed as trusted experts? Our Professional Regulation Executive Committee (PREC) is exploring an innovative approach to actuarial regulation that aims to give the wider assurance the public expects and deserves: the Quality Assurance Scheme for Organisations. At present, we regulate on an individual basis. We want to develop a stronger relationship with employers of actuaries, in recognition of their impact - through their cultures and working practices - on the professional lives of our members.
We intend to do this by setting high-level principles for organisations in key areas such as peer review, conflicts of interest and client engagement. These will be of wide relevance, as will the accompanying guidance. The voluntary scheme will give those organisations that apply and satisfy the criteria a quality assurance stamp, enabling them to demonstrate and promote their commitment to producing high-quality actuarial work. It will also give organisations the opportunity to work more closely with us in shaping the future of actuarial regulation.
We are keen to ensure that the proposals reinforce quality without adding to the regulatory burden. Indeed, by working more closely with employers, we can streamline our regulatory provision and ensure its relevance. We hope it will provide a real opportunity for participants to differentiate themselves in the market and benefit from knowledge-sharing. It is up to us as a profession to make this work. On that note, I would like to thank Sir Philip Mawer for his outstanding contribution as chair of PREC, and to welcome new chair, Desmond Hudson.
The initial proposals have been informed by discussions with members, employers and stakeholders - you may even have responded to PREC's recent consultation. We will publish the post-consultation report in the autumn, but are always keen to hear further comments.
If you have any ideas or suggestions, please get in touch at [email protected]